How College Students Think They Are More Special
Than EVER: Study Reveals Rocketing Sense of Entitlement on U.S.
if you asked a college freshman today who the Greatest Generation
is, they might respond by pointing in a mirror.
unprecedented level of self-infatuation was revealed in a new analysis
of the American Freshman Survey, which has been asking students
to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966.
Roughly 9 million
young people have taken the survey over the last 47 years.
Jean Twenge and her colleagues compiled the data and found that
over the last four decades there's been a dramatic rise in the number
of students who describe themselves as being 'above average' in
the areas of academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability,
But in appraising
the traits that are considered less invidualistic - co-operativeness,
understanding others, and spirituality - the numbers either stayed
at slightly decreased over the same period.
also found a disconnect between the student's opinions of themselves
and actual ability.
are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing abilities,
objective test scores actually show that their writing abilities
are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts.
Also on the
decline is the amount of time spent studying, with little more than
a third of students saying they study for six or more hours a week
compared to almost half of all students claiming the same in the
may work less, the number that said they had a drive to succeed
egotists can grow up to be depressed adults.
A 2006 study
found that students suffer from 'ambition inflation' as their increased
ambitions accompany increasingly unrealistic expectations.
1960s and 1970s, when those expectations started to grow, there's
been an increase in anxiety and depression,' Twenge said. 'There's
going to be a lot more people who don't reach their goals.'
Twenge is the
author of a separate study showing a 30 per cent increase towards
narcissism in students since 1979.
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